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Last Updated (Friday, 07 April 2017 15:50) Written by Administrator Wednesday, 04 November 2009 15:26

Chile and Argentina, March 2017 

Seventeen travelers journeyed to Chile and Argentina where we saw many beautiful sights, including the highest Andean Mountain not only in South America, but North America as well! We also crossed the Andes via the Lake Crossing, going from Puerta Varas , Chile to Bariloche Argentina. We spent two days in Santiago visiting a winery and seeing the sights in this Chilean capitol. Then we flew to Puerto Montt, where we visited the only Lipppanzer Horse stud in South America, as well as a 1400 cow dairy with a 80 cow rotary parlor. Of course we stayed in a hotel that looked across a lake at the beautiful extinct Orsorno volcano!

After arrival in Bariloche, Argentina, we visited a sheep and beef ranch and had a great lunch on the ranch. Then it was onto two nights in Buenos Aires, a tango show, some horseback riding, and some great food before we left for the wine producing region of Argentina- Mendoza and its famous Malbec wine. Visits to tow wineries with great lunches along with a day trip into the Andes, gave us all a new perspective on the beauty of these countries!

Danube River Cruise - October 24 - November 4, 2013

Sixteen people joined Daluge Travel for a seven day Danube River Classical Music Cruise in October 2013. We were greeted in Budapest, Hungary with excellent 75 degree weather, quite a treat after leaving Wisconsin in the 40's.  After a tour of the Budapest Opera House, we were able to board our ship, the Amadeaus Elegant.  We were treated to a trio of classical musicians who performed both on the boat as well as in churches and palaces for us. Our cruise covered Budapest, Bratislava, Slovakia; Vienna, Melk, and Durnstein, Austria and we left the boat in Passau, Germany.

We learned where Mozart lived and died in Vienna, later saw his birthplace and family home in Salzburg, Austria. Several of the group attended an opera in Vienna and we saw many splendid palaces and cathedrals throughout the trip. The food was good on board our ship and most of us gained a bit of weight.  After leaving the ship, we traveled by bus through Austria to St Gilgen, Monshee, and spent two nights in Salzburg before departing for home through Munich. We had an excellent farewell dinner and concert in Salzburg and saw many of the buildings and area portrayed in the Sound of Music which was filmed in Salzburg. Overall it was an excellent trip with great weather with only one morning of rain.  Great company, good music, fine wine, and fantastic scenery make for a great vacation! Come join us soon on another adventure!

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Turkey - May 26-June 7, 2013

The Daluge Travel tour to Turkey and the Greek Isles got off to a great start with blue skies and warm temperatures to tour the old city of Istanbul with its many mosques, outdoor restaurants, markets, and friendly people. Itsanbul is indeed the crossroads of the world- where east meets west and every imaginable culture is represented. After a boat trip on the Bosphorous , the body of water that separates Europe from Asia, and some additional sightseeing in the Spice Market and Grand Bazaar, our group headed east to Cappadocia, the land of fairy chimneys and cave homes of early Christians and early churches.

In addition to seeing the natural landscape, the early cave homes and churches, six of us went on a hot air balloon ride over the area early one morning. This is an experience we’ll remember for many years!  Then it was back to Istanbul to take a connecting flight to Kushadasi, Turkey where we began a three night four day cruise of the Greek Isles.   We visited Athens for views of the Acropolis, Parthenon and other ancient buildings and stopped at the islands of Crete, Mykonos, Patmos, and Santorini. Each island has a different culture and different atmosphere. Santorini with its donkey trail rising up to the city above the bay with its white buildings, is probably the most famous, but Mykonos is the more hip culture for the jet setters and caters to the gay and lesbian culture as well.  Finally Patmos was the island that St John retired to and where he wrote the book of Revelation in the Bible and of course Crete is the largest island with non stop air traffic flying in to access many of the other islands.

Soon we were back in Turkey for a visit to Ephesus, the well preserved ancient Roman city.  While touring the area around Kushadasi, we stopped at a rug dealer, leather factory, and pottery cave- all quite interesting and many of us came home with new leather goods or pottery items! About this point in the trip we earned of the demonstrations that were occurring throughout Turkey and the decision was made to not return to Istanbul our last evening, but extend our stay in Kushadasi by another night. Our last few days we visited some farming country and saw the famous hot springs and calcium  carbonate deposits left behind and we visited and old Greek Village that is now a tourist shopping experience tough to beat.

Turkey and the Greek Isles are great places to visit and I think our group learned much about the country of Turkey, how they view the world neighbors, and some of the internal issues the country is facing as a democratic country trying to operate its government without religious influences in a Muslim majority.

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Alaska - September, 2011

Daluge Travel’s Alaskan trip yielded some excellent weather to see animals, glaciers, and Mt McKinley! Since we traveled in mid-September, the foliage was a gorgeous combination of bright green and bright yellow! Mt McKinley in Denali park was shown in its entire splendor, not just one day but on three different days from various view points. Blue skies, snow covered peaks and crisp autumn days made for a most gorgeous trip.

Fairbanks, Palmer, Anchorage, and Seward were all great places to visit. We saw whales, 26 glaciers on our day cruise, and learned about sled dog racing and even got a ride!

 

Panning for gold, learning about eating lots of salmon, and a visit to North Pole, Alaska, helped round out our 8-day land tour of Alaska. Four of our travelers then extended for a Lions conference in Anchorage.

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South Africa/Victorai Falls - March, 2011

Forty adventuresome travelers joined us on a great trip to South Africa in late March and early April of 2011. This trip was certainly worth the 18-hour flight from Washington DC to Cape Town. Highlights of the trip included seeing the Cape of Good Hope, Table Mountain, and Robben Island, where Nelson Mandela was held for so many years. Then it was on to an Ostrich farm for tour and dinner, and a day of touring the southern Wine Country around Stellenbosch.

Next we flew to Livingston, Zambia to see the world’s largest waterfall, Victoria Falls. Our first evening, we enjoyed a sunset cocktail cruise on the Zambezi River, just above the falls. The next day, after an adventuresome hike around the falls in a great deal of spray, we took a trip back in time on an 1890’s steam train with totally parlor and dining cars. Every-one enjoyed the ride as well as the gourmet dinner and as well as a walk on the red carpet, drink in hand, as we boarded the Royal Livingstone Train.

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Panama - January, 2011

Daluge Travel hosted a small group of 15 people who wanted a break from our Wisconsin winter in Panama. We stayed in a nice small hotel in downtown Panama City for six nights which eased the burden of re-packing. From this location we visited the Canal in several different ways…by a day-long cruise of the entire lock system; by shore excursions where we saw the locks as cruise ships and huge container vessels passed; and from small boats where we viewed Canal monkeys. It was indeed fascinating as we all learned so much history of its construction; control by the U.S.; and now operation by Panama. We visited native people’s camps and had lunch with them; toured an Eco Lodge property; and sampled the delicious local food.

Our last two nights were spent at Playa Blanca; an all-inclusive resort on the Pacific Ocean. After some great food, a few beverages, some sun bathing, swimming and a bit of beach walking, our eight-day trip was over.  Panama City is growing by leaps and bounds as are the resort areas. Tourism is a huge part of the economy as well as the Canal with it's soon to open new channel. See it soon!

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Down Under Trip was Fantastic - Australia/New Zealand June 20 - July 6, 2010

 

Our travelers had a great time in New Zealand and Australia earlier this summer as we experienced a bit of fall and winter weather ‘down under’. Rick skied for a day near Queenstown as the rest of the group traveled out to Milford Sound.  Sydney and Melbourne wee everything we expected and more. And the Blue Mountains and Three Sisters area near Sydney were beautiful.  The wines were superb, the organic 2000 cow dairy was impressive, and the scenery unparalleled.  And of course the Koalas, Platypus, Kangaroos, Wallabies, and other wildlife made the trip very interesting. Sydney harbor with its Opera House and Harbor Bridge are spectacular sights to see as well.

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Kauai & Badger Football in Honolulu - November 30 - December 8, 2009

After a long flight delay in Los Angeles, our group finally arrived in Lihue on the Hawaiian island of Kauai around 3 a.m., instead of 9 p.m., but we were greeted with a lei just the same. We spent 4 nights at the beautiful Marriott Resort in Kauai.  We toured the Waimea Canyon, visited a Coffee plantation, and in general saw the southwestern part of the island on our first day. After a free day where people toured the island on their own, we toured together and visited the Fern Grotto, Kilohana Plantation and an exceptional show at Smith’s Luau.

Friday we took an afternoon flight to Honolulu and checked into the Marriott Waikiki. Many in our group arose early Saturday morning to tour the city and take in Pearl Harbor and the Arizona Memorial. Then, after an in-hotel tailgate on the 24th floor beach facing suite, our group headed off to the Football game to watch the Badgers defeat the Rainbows!

After two more leisurely days, we ended our stay in Hawaii with a dinner cruise and then it was off to the airport for a red eye flight home. Due to a blizzard in the Midwest we were diverted from Madison to Chicago and had to take  a bus back to Madison.  Some of us extended our stay in Madison a night or two due to the snow- what a way to come back to Wisconsin winter!  Hawaii had perfect weather the entire time we were there- it did rain some places but not where we were and they recorded some of the highest surf ever on Oahu!

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“Tulip Time in Holland” - April 10-19

Sunny skies and nice spring temperatures greeted our group throughout our trip.  And, yes, we saw spectacular tulips at the world famous Keukenhof Park.  But in addition we were also treated to a private tour of Flora Holland auction in Naaldwijk which is more spectacular than Aalsmeer (where most travelers visit).  By staying in The Hague we had the opportunity to not only visit many sites in this small country, but also to dine at some wonderful restaurants near our hotel…a real treat.  And of all our stops, I think people on the trip would agree that Bruges would definitely be worth a re-visit.  At the end of our trip, the river boat provided an excellent time to relax and enjoy the sites along the way including the most popular Dutch Windmills.


The Ukraine - May 22-June 4

The Ukraine is an emerging destination for travel.  Our guides Ally and Natasha provided us with so much information on the new Ukraine…much of which struggles with its newly acquired independence.  The eastern half of the country needs infrastructure and upgrading. I would guess that Odessa and Sevastopol will become very popular tourist destinations soon.  We all enjoyed our visit at Yalta to see where Europe was divided up after WWII. We traveled north on the Kneiper River to see the Soviet influence being replaced by modern architectural buildings.  While on board, our guides provided us with programs from politics to the Ukrainian language…they were such fun to be around.  As we got closer to Kyiv we could see more prosperous farms and villages and could better understand the needs of this country.  I think all on the trip will agree that they learned a great deal about this area’s history and heritage, plus we enjoyed our off-boat tours. Lest you think it was all educational, we made some wonderful friendships with our fellow English speaking traveling partners who joined us from Norway, New York, California, Michigan, and our Iranian friends from the East Coast.

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Thailand - June 13-29

Yes, it was a long flight…but well worth it since we were able to spend two weeks here.  Thailand can easily be called one of the most friendly countries to visit in the world.  We learned about their faith and saw many Budhas as well as the personal shrines in the yards or on the apartment balconies.  We took long boats to several flower, food and trade markets; visited traditional Thai villages; traveled the Bridge over the River Kwai and learned its terrible history; saw several cultural dance shows with dinner; learned about their silk and rice industries; rode elephants and learned about their use for labor; and visit several of their revered king’s palaces and saw his beautiful royal barges.  As we headed north to visit ruins of Wats (temples), we saw the beauty of this country unfold.  We stayed at the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myranmar (Burma) and Laos share their border with the Mai Kong River.  And, finally, we had a wonderful time sampling all the Thai food at the many beautifully presented buffets...and we found that many of their foods were quite mildly spiced and tasty.  Thailand definitely is a destination to add to your must see countries in Asia.

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Charleston and Savannah – March 25-April 1, 2009

What a great time of the year to visit Charleston, SC and Savannah, GA. The flowers were blooming and spring had arrived with temperatures in the 60-70 degree range.  In Charleston we found the local cuisine and restaurants to be outstanding and the southern plantation visits most interesting. We also visited and toured the only tea plantation in the US!  Naturally we visited Ft Sumter National Monument where the first shots of the Civil War were fired and some of the group toured the Yorktown aircraft carrier anchored in the Charleston Harbor.

After leaving Charleston we did a short stop in Hilton Head for lunch enroute to Savannah. What a beautiful area that is and some great golf courses!  Once in Savannah we did city tour of many of the historic district homes and the City Market. We also were in town during the Savannah Music Festival and several of us took in some great concerts while in town. The group toured Tybee Island and its light house, as well as Fort Pulsaki, made famous in the Civil War. Our time in Savannah ended with a river cruise dinner and the first rain of our 7 days began to fall. We highly recommend a trip in the spring to these two southern cities!

Chile and Argentina and the Patagonia – January 29 - February 11, 2009

Of course there is no better time of the year to travel to the southern hemisphere than during January- February and in 2009 we did just that. Our twelve days in Chile and Argentina were spectacular and left the entire group wanting to return to see more of these countries. We began with an overnight flight to Santiago, Chile and two days in this area of Chile. We traveled to Vina Del Mar (wine by the sea) and did indeed visit a beautiful winery, had a great lunch by the Pacific Ocean and spent some time in the old port city of Valparaiso and its steep funiculars.

Then we flew to Punta Arenas, the southernmost airport in Chile at the straits of Magellan!  One night in this quaint town and our adventure in the Patagonia began as we traveled by bus and boat to see penguins, and the famous Torres del Paine national park near Puerto Natales. The park is a jewel and our hotel windows all faced the park and it was just like a picture every day! After viewing some glaciers in the park we departed for El Calafate, Argentina for another three nights. Near the border crossing, our bus encountered a herd of wild horses galloping across in front of our bus. We also saw the real grazing area of the southern Patagonia with sheep and cattle everywhere.

Upon arrival in the backpacking and tourist town of El Calafate, we set out two days on boats to see some of the world’s largest glaciers and ice fields that encompass 1/3 of the frozen fresh water in the world. Our hotel was perched above the town and Calafate has lots of shops and restaurants to keep any traveler occupied and scenery to match!

The final two days of our trip included a 1700 mile flight to Buenos Aires where we of course saw a Tango show, visited Eva Peron’s grave, and has a late dinner in the Reocleta district of the city. Our last day we were privileged to have the former Argentine minister of agriculture take us to the county to see the crops and cattle. We had a wonderful posada lunch (lamb and beef) cooked on the open fire with plenty of Malbec wine to savor as we had an outdoor dinner with a wonderful farm family. Then it was off to the airport for our return to cold Wisconsin!  We returned with great memories of great Malbec and Carmanera wines (only found in these countries) and several great meals of delicious lamb and of course photos of some of the most gorgeous scenery in the world!

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